Happily, people do sometimes read my blogs (thank you, both of you). But what if a post goes unread?
Hello? Anyone around? Is anyone reading this?
If it has no reader I wonder if this can even be called a blog post. Technically, I suppose it classifies as a blog post. It’s on WordPress. But if I knew no one was going to read it, I could just as well tap out a random assortment of nonsense words. Easy peasy. At the very least, I needn’t wait around for that writerly sparkle that gets me putting words in a notebook and then onto a Word doc. Nor need I bother pruning superfluous verbiage, or tackle the rough surfaces I usually like to smooth to give you, my reader, a comfortable reading journey.
If no human eyes alight on this post, no one would say it is not a post, and nor would they see any difference between, on the one hand, my little musings, and on the other, 300 words from the pen/keyboard of a Pulitzer Prize winner on a particularly inspired day.
Because no one will say anything about something they don’t know exists.
My unread post would be like the falling tree in the forest in that old philosophical question – the one about whether the tree can be said to have made a sound, if no one is around to hear it.
On a less conceptual, more sentimental level, if we assume the tree does creak and crash, isn’t it rather lonely and pointless if no one hears the death throes?
Thomas Gray knew a thing or two about the lonely and unloved. Here he is in his ‘Elegy’, contemplating the anonymity of common folk’s lives:
“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air”
I’m not for a moment claiming that my posts are sweet or excellent. But posts crafted by many an unsung yet talented blogger certainly do merit such adjectives.
Amid the dismal wastes that make up so much of what passes for journalism and comment on the worldwide web, how many fine flowers are blooming unnoticed?